One of former Vice President Joe Biden’s top advisers on Monday insisted that Biden’s 2020 message about “the forgotten people in the middle” of America is not “Make America Great Again.”
Symone Sanders, Biden’s senior adviser, also tried to argue that President Donald Trump is dog-whistling when he is talking about working-class issues while Biden is speaking about Americans of all backgrounds when he is speaking about working-class voters.
When MSNBC host Ali Velshi said Biden’s message about “the forgotten people in the middle of this country” “sounds very similar” and “some people interpret that as ‘Make America Great Again,’” Sanders insisted that is not true at all.
“I want to be clear. Let me jump in. This is not ‘Make America Great Again,’” Sanders said. “It’s not the same message. The difference is Vice President Biden is talking about the middle class regardless of your sexual orientation, your gender, your religion, you should be able to make a working wage in this country.”
After Biden announced his candidacy, some of Biden’s critics on the left criticized Biden for not having a forward-looking message, saying Biden’s slogan seems to be “Make America 2016 Again.” Biden also told reporters on the day he formally entered the 2020 presidential race last week that “America’s coming back like we used to be.”
Velshi noted that in 2016, many voters supported Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT), Symone Sanders’s former boss, and Trump because of their economic populism.
Symone Sanders responded by implying that Trump is dog-whistling when he is talking about working-class voters even though Biden’s only rationale for the nomination seems to be that he is the Democrat who has the best chance of winning over white working-class voters who voted for Trump in 2016.
“To be clear, I think Vice President Biden’s message will be starkly different than that of anyone else in this race, in that he is talking about uniting people, and specifically speaking to the issues that are really affecting folks,” Sanders said. “And when you talk about the working class, I know people think that is some type of dog whistle for the white working class, but when Vice President Biden’s talking about the working class, he’s talking about folks like my brother who is a construction worker and owns his own business. He’s talking about folks like my grandfather who was not a white working class man and who works for the railraod company.”
Sanders then continued to argue that “there is a notion given who currently sits in the White House that the working class only means a certain type of people.”
“What you’ll see from Vice President Biden in Pittsburgh today and throughout this campaign is working class means a whole lot of different folks and we are talking about policies and process to help all those people,” Sanders claimed.